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Robert Duval Speaks at Northern New England State of Commercial Real Estate 2017 Summit

On Thursday, June 29, 2017 New England Real Estate Journal hosted the Northern New England State of Commercial Real Estate 2017 Summit at the Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center in Portsmouth, NH. TFMoran was a Corporate Sponsor, along with Build-It Construction, Fulcrum, CBRE|Portsmouth and Hinckley Allen. PROCON and Waterstone were the Gold Sponsors and Vendor Sponsors were U.S. Pavement and KANE.

The event started out with networking during a breakfast buffet, followed by 3 sessions of topics addressing Commercial Real Estate, ending with discussions and networking between attendees and speakers. Sessions included Capital Investments & Financing Availability; Construction Projects & Trends; and Real Estate Updates & Trends. TFMoran’s president and Chief Engineer, Robert Duval, PE was asked to speak on the panel addressing Construction Projects & Trends. Some of the topics he addressed included an update on regulatory and permitting issues; a shortage of skilled labor in the workforce (specifically engineering and surveying); and new 3D technology in design and construction. Mr. Duval was one of 15 professionals who spoke on the panels. For a full list of speakers click this link NNE Commercial Real Estate Summit 2017

Nearly 150 people attended this vibrant and engaging Summit, and we are looking forward to the next one. A big thank you to New England Real Estate Journal for putting on a great event and for sharing their photos with us!

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Robert Duval featured in New England Real Estate Journal’s 2017 Retail Forecast Spotlight

The January 27 – February 2, 2017 issue of the New England Real Estate Journal, features an article written by TFMoran’s president and chief engineer Robert Duval, PE, LEED AP. TFMoran is the exclusive civil engineer for the 2017 Retail Forecast Spotlight. The article, Mixed-use developments are becoming more popular than the traditional shopping center, appears in the Shopping Centers section of the publication, which can be viewed by linking here, or reading the text below.

Mixed-use developments are becoming more popular than the traditional shopping center
Robert Duval – TFMoran, Inc.

Many, if not most, recent large retail projects have been moving into “mixed-use development” centers rather than traditional shopping centers. A mixed-use development is, according to Wikipedia – “a type of urban development that blends residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses, where those functions are physically and functionally integrated, and that provides pedestrian connections.”

There are three key concepts here – the blending of multiple uses, integration, and pedestrian connections. All three are required for a true MUD. Without multiple uses you have… well, a shopping center. Without integration, you have just a collection of different uses with no interaction; and without pedestrian connections (which is really a form of integration) there is no advantage over driving down the street from one place to another.

From an engineering perspective, the advantages of integrated development over conventional shopping centers are substantial. For example, traffic volumes developed by shopping centers is fairly well understood, and is usually determined by plugging your total retail space into the appropriate formula for shopping centers and voila – you have your result.

On the other hand, for mixed-use centers there is a second step that involves looking at interaction between pairs of related uses – for example restaurants and cinemas, cinemas and apartments, apartments and offices, offices and restaurants, and so on, based on the concept that one vehicle trip may have multiple purposes, and these trips are shared among the various uses, rather than totaled up.

These multi-purpose trips can often reduce total trip generation by a third or more, thus significantly reducing off-site traffic impacts and costs of mitigation. Similar analyses of parking demand will also show reductions in parking demand, often in the range of 5% to 10%. These parking reductions can reduce costs and increase efficiency beyond just the pavement savings; as impervious surface area decreases, so too does the cost and extent of stormwater infrastructure to capture, detain, and treat all that unnecessary pavement.

Also, by integrating multiple uses into a single property, whether by consolidating parcels or simply by master-planning in a way that can ignore lot lines, greater land use density can be achieved by avoiding internal lot line setbacks, inefficient parking layouts, as well as unnecessary driveways and utility connections.

All the foregoing advantages of traffic, parking, and drainage are irrelevant if easy, convenient, and safe pedestrian connections are not provided between the major uses. New England weather being what it is, it is not realistic to expect that pedestrians will willingly park thousands of feet from their destination year-round. Therefore, direct, easily traversable pedestrian routes should be part of the earliest site planning exercises.

From a permitting point of view, as in so many other aspects of land development, the market is ahead of the regulation. In many communities, mixed-use developments will find they are prohibited by conventional “exclusionary” zoning ordinances and may require variances or zoning amendments to get off the ground.

However, the reception of mixed-use projects from planners and regulators is generally positive. Most communities understand the benefits of mixed-use development – in terms of increased tax revenue and employment opportunities with fewer negative impacts. Mixed-use centers, by their very nature, tend to locate in city centers within or adjacent to older, under-utilized manufacturing or commercial areas. This development thus provides the twin benefits of revitalizing city centers and reducing the need for new “greenfield” development. As a result, many communities already allow for this type of development in their zoning codes, and others are working on it.

As community planners catch up, we can expect more mixed-use developments to appear in our city centers (which, by the way, was the original purpose of a “city center”). The resulting increase in commer­cial activity will in turn create the positive employment and residential opportunities and more efficient use of infrastructure so important to the future health of our cities and towns.

Robert Duval, PE, LEED AP, is president and chief engineer for TFMoran, Inc., Bedford, N.H.

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TFMoran’s Retail Project “Featured Property of the Month” in New England Real Estate Journal

The March 25-31, 2016 issue of New England Real Estate Journal showcased TFM’s civil and structural engineering retail project, Ashley Furniture and Ashbrook Furniture as the “Featured Property of the Month” in the “Shopping Centers” section.  Read the full story below, or click on the link for a pdf version. NEREJ March 25-31 2016 Feature of the Month

DESIGNED BY LANDRY ARCHITECTS AND CONSTRUCTED BY TRB DEVELOPMENT GRP.

TFMoran designs new 68,000 s/f retail store site for Ashley Furniture and Ashbrook Furniture

Manchester, NH – AAA Realty, LLC is pleased to announce the recent opening of a new Ashley Furniture and Ashbrook Furniture retail showroom in Manchester, located on 5 Driving Park Road, behind Wendy’s in the heart of the South Willow Street retail district.  The new furniture showroom carries a wide selection of living room, dining room, bedroom, and home office furniture.  Ashley Furniture is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world, according to the company’s website.

TFMoran, Inc., a local full-service engineering firm, helped obtain the approvals for the new facility, and provided civil/site engineering, structural engineering, land surveying, permitting and landscape architecture for the new 2-story 68,000sf furniture showroom.   The building was designed by Landry Architects of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and constructed by TRB Development Group of Hooksett.

During the past several years, many large furniture stores in the Queen City have closed their doors.  This new major furniture outlet reverses that trend, and, according to the developer, will establish a choice in furniture sales, “Ashley Furniture Industries feels that every person deserves more value for their money”.  Established in 1945, Ashley is one of the largest manufacturers of home furnishings in the world.  “Ashley is committed to delivering the world’s best home furnishing values, selection and service, and earning the loyalty and trust of its customers every day.”

The 2.7 acre Driving Park Road site, originally zoned for industrial use, had been abandoned since a fire destroyed a former health club on the site, leaving behind a 9,600 square foot medical clinic. Several years ago, the site was rezoned to the B-2 General Business District, more in keeping with the retail uses on neighboring South Willow Street.  Just to the north of the site, a former Osram Sylvania manufacturing plant has also recently closed, and is slated for more future retail development.

Members of the City Planning Board agreed that the new use for this blighted site was a good fit, and were pleased with the modern, attractive design.  According to TFMoran’s project manager Chris Rice, “the site plan package for the new retail store was a perfect fit for the mixed-use character of this commercial neighborhood, with a Wendy’s restaurant in front, a major shopping plaza to the south, numerous banks, offices and small retail shops, and a City recreational field all within walking distance.”

Rice continued, “Fitting a major furniture store on less than 3 acres was a challenge.  In addition to the building pad which was nearly one acre itself, we needed to provide adequate customer parking, and separate customer and truck circulation, loading docks, and fire access all around the building. To accomplish this, we had to go to the ZBA for a variance to allow 81% where 75% is required.”

On the other hand, according to Rice, the site did need to be made to conform to modern regulations for stormwater management: “Being a former industrial site, the property was crisscrossed with utilities with no stormwater treatment anywhere on the site.  Yet we were able to find a drainage solution that worked around the existing infrastructure, and provided treatment facilities such that all surface runoff would go into an underground system and nothing would be released into nearby Nutt’s Pond.  That is a major improvement in stormwater management, and we were therefore able to obtain an Alteration of Terrain permit through NHDES as part of the project.”

TFMoran President Robert Duval also commented on the environmental benefits of this project.  “Redevelopment of blighted industrial sites makes good sense.  Once difficult to permit, now most regulatory agencies and municipalities recognize that good planning and good environmental stewardship means encouraging flexible and creative solutions if redevelopment of existing properties is to be economically feasible.”

Duval continued, “Redevelopment sites can also offer certain economic advantages such as mature utilities and roadway networks needing little or no improvement, remoteness from sensitive natural habitats, and proximity to public transportation and other community services.”  Former Chairman of the Planning Board Kevin McCue commended the applicant for their proposed development because this area had been blighted for a number of years.

We are very happy about this location, said a spokesperson for Ashley Furniture, “In less than 10 years, we have become the No. 1 selling furniture brand in the world and the No. 1 retailer of furniture and bedding in the United States.  Our stores are located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Japan, and we are expanding domestically and abroad every day.”

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Robert Cruess asks November’s “Question of the Month” in New England Real Estate Journal

TFMoran/MSC Engineers Chairman, Robert Cruess, PE  asked November’s “Question of the Month” in the Shopping Centers section of  New England Real Estate Journal.

Robert’s question:  What is the future of green design?

To read the pdf version click on NEREJ Question of the Month Nov 2015

Or, you can read the text below for the full story….

What is the future of green design? Sensible and cost-effective aspects that improve the environment.

Robert Cruess “Greenwashing” – (my definition) is the attempt to portray your project as being environmentally sensitive/ responsible, when in fact, it is more hype than substance.

Greenwashing is a term that I am hearing less often from the people in the building industries, namely: developers, contractors, architects, civil/site engineers, HVAC engineers, landscape architects, etc. So, without plumbing the depths of greenwashing, I would like to focus primarily on the positive aspects of design techniques that do, in fact, have less impact on the environment than older design methods.

It all begins with the developer/ end user. These are the people that want something built, be it a public facility , like a new school, or a private facility, such as an office building, retail facility, hotel, or…just a single family home. Getting something built involves economic decisions and the “user” invariably must balance an “ideal” with the reality of economics. And somewhere in this decision making process, the ideal “green design” meets the reality of available funds.

I would say that almost all the developers that we deal with, want to be environmentally responsible, and they want to accomplish that end “economically.” There are, of course, users that have no economic restraints and are willing to post a blank check in order to accomplish real, or perceived, environmental goals, however, the majority of users, want to be environmentally responsible, but want to do it within their budget. Now there is the challenge!

Enter the design team. The designers include the architects and their various subs such as HVAC and structural (engineers), the civil/ site engineers (and their various subs such as wetland scientists, surveyors, etc.) and landscape architects who are sometimes a sub to either the architect or the site engineer.

Discussions with several architects reveal that the pressure for green design is increasingly focused on the building envelope and the newest and most energy-efficient envelopes. A recent walk through the ABX show in Boston demonstrated the importance, and thought, that is being devoted to the building envelope. The architects are also being requested to provide newer, more efficient heating systems, such as air source heat pumps, high efficiency propane and natural gas burners, and in some instances “net zero” structures (meaning there must be some form of on-site energy production to offset the energy that the structure takes from the grid). Internally, there is an obvious desire to manage electric usage, primarily by utilizing high efficiency lighting and switching that shuts lights off in unoccupied rooms.

There are, of course, numerous other items that the architect can use in their green palette, from energy efficient windows to actual material selection. However, in my discussions with several architects, they are seeing a lessening in demand for LEED Certified buildings, which is not to say that there is a decreasing demand for energy efficient and socially responsible buildings. There is also the observation that many LEED principles are being incorporated in planning, zoning and building codes, so many of the green design principles are being institutionalized.

The civil/site engineers have several ways to design more environmentally friendly sites. Drainage design is one of the more obvious ways to lessen the environmental impact of a site. Drainage design has moved from collection and direct discharge, to detention and treatment before discharge, to the current practice of infiltrating most, if not all, of the surface runoff from a new site.

There are several infiltration techniques which include: porous pavement, rain gardens, tree wells, porous pavers, underground infiltration chambers, etc. Of course, all of the aforementioned have a cost for the developer, however, infiltration of storm water is becoming a mandated practice, and therefore, just a cost of doing business. Once again, we are seeing the institutionalization of “green” design.

Landscape architects also have been able to produce more thoughtful designs, particularly working with the civil/site engineers on the design of rain gardens, tree wells, vegetated swales, etc. Landscape architects are eliminating invasive plantings, and encouraging plants that can survive without constant irrigation.

TINSTAAFL, which of course, is an acronym for “there is no such thing as a free lunch,” even when trying to protect and/or improve the environment. For example, if you enable an existing industrial building to meet new energy codes, then you had better run a structural check on the roof, because more snow will stay on the roof and it will be there for a longer period of time because the energy saving insulation no longer allows heat to escape and melt some of the snow load.

As another example, porous pavement, and porous pavers, must be vacuumed on some established schedule, or the pores may fill with sand and the infiltration capability will be lost.

All of the green design techniques just need to have that little bit of extra thought, particularly with regard to unintended consequences.

Green design is being institutionalized: Planning boards, zoning boards, and building codes are adopting the principles of green design practices, and for the most part, they are adopting the sensible and cost-effective aspects of the practices that do, in fact, improve the environment.

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TFMoran featured in NE Real Estate Journal “Industrial Project of the Month”

Click this link for a printed version TFMoran in NEREJ Sept2015

Click this link to go to New England Real Estate website.

DACON AND PROLOGIS COMPLETE 614,000 S/F NORTHEAST LOGISTICS CENTER FOR UPS AND PRATT & WHITNEY

Londonderry, NH – The official dedication and ribbon cutting of the new facility is scheduled in October 2015.

As the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport grew larger and busier in recent years, a large swath of land just off Raymond Wieczorek Dr. to the south sat conspicuously empty. It remained that way until Prologis and Dacon Corp. teamed with a number of key partners, including civil engineering firm TF Moran to start work on a plan to convert the once-fallow 50-acre plot into a thriving center of commerce. The Prologis project, at 52 Pettengill Rd., is now a 614,000 s/f, high-bay distribution center for United Parcel Service, Supply Chain Solutions and jet engine manufacturer Pratt &Whitney. The new facility, which sits just adjacent to the airport, is a welcome addition to the burgeoning travel and shipping center, and one that will benefit both the immediate Londonderry/Manchester area and the greater southern New Hampshire region.

“At full capacity, this project will bring upwards of 400 well-paying jobs to the area,” said Chuck Reilly of Dacon. “When you consider that land was used for agricultural grazing and sat undeveloped, and within a 15 month period, there’s been almost one million s/f of development – including the Federal Express Ground facility developed by Scannell Properties of Indianapolis, Indiana just to the north of us – it’s a huge economic engine for Londonderry and the Manchester airport area.”

Construction on the building – a conventional, high bay steel and precast concrete panel building with approximately 24,000 s/f of office space, 400 parking spaces and room for as many as 100 tractor trailers – started in July of 2014. UPS and Pratt & Whitney are currently in the process of occupying the new facility. The building has 100% backup generation power and is almost 100% automated for pick and pack warehouse operations. The entire project was completed on schedule and on budget. Dacon provided design, engineering, and construction management on a design-build basis with in-house architectural and engineering services.

Completion of the project has allowed Londonderry to see Pettengill Rd. finally completed, connecting Raymond Wieczorek Dr. to Industrial Dr., which had been in town planning for over a decade.

Several key partners were involved in the project, including Denver-based developer Prologis, civil engineers, TFMoran and Continental Paving, who Reilly described as “absolutely key partners.” He also credited the town of Londonderry and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport management with being instrumental in allowing the project to remain on schedule regarding permitting and approvals.

Dacon Corp design builder

PDA design build architect

TFMoran civil/structural/traffic engineering survey – permitting – landscape architecture

Environmental Systems Inc HVAC

Granite State Plumbing & Heating plumbing & HVAC

Hampshire Fire Protection Co fire protection

Interstate Electrical Services electrical

Southern NH Concrete foundation

Fabcon Precast precast wall panels

Expose Signs & Graphics Inc. project signage

Optiline Enterprises LLC metal framing & drywall

Credit: Article originally written by Bill Burke with the NH Business Review.

 

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TFMoran’s project is NEREJ’s Northern New England’s Project of the Month

To read the printed version of the article, please click on this link TFMoran in NEREJ June 2015

Hooksett, NH A groundbreaking ceremony for a $50 million, 55,000 square-foot expansion was recently held at the existing GE Aviation campus on Industrial Park Drive in Hooksett, New Hampshire. The expansion represents a state-of-the-art facility using the latest technology to manufacture components primarily for military and commercial grade aircraft engines. GE Aviation has long had a significant presence in New Hampshire, employing more than 1,100 across the state with 740 employees at its Hooksett facility alone. These Hooksett employees have manufactured vane sectors, tube assemblies, and blisks for assembly at other GE plants since the 1970s, but with GE’s progression to a new generation of engines, “Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion” or LEAP, the Hooksett facility required updating to continue its long history of successful manufacturing operations.

The groundbreaking was opened by GE Aviation Plant Manager Doug Folsom with Governor Maggie Hassan and several State dignitaries in attendance to mark the magnitude of the occasion. “It was not an easy process,” Folsom said in his address to the crowd “What came together was probably the most creative building expansion that GE has ever done: The state and the surrounding community have been invaluable partners, and I know those partnerships will bring even more success as we expand our facility at Hooksett”. His address also praised the Hooksett facility workforce noting their contributions to GE’s innovation and success. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan remarked, “This expansion demonstrates GE Aviation’s long-term commitment to Hooksett and the State of New Hampshire, as well as how our state’s high quality of life, highly skilled workforce, low-tax environment and responsive state government make us as attractive a state for business as any in the country. We are grateful for GE Aviation’s commitment to the Granite State and the additional growth this expansion will help inspire across the state.” Additional speakers representing Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Ann McLane Kuster and Rep. Frank Guinta echoed similar sentiments praising the GE Hooksett workforce for their efforts and GE Aviation for their investment in New Hampshire.

Long before the gold plated shovels hit the ground to mark the official groundbreaking ceremony, the project began at ground level with the preparation of a civil/site design package and associated earthwork permit applications. This effort was led by GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. as the overall Project Manager for GE Aviation, who retained TFMoran to prepare the civil/site plan and permit package. As to be expected with the expansion of any existing structure, numerous design challenges faced the design team, but working diligently with Hooksett officials, State officials and local utility providers, the pertinent design issues were identified in advance and a unified approach was employed to solve each critical component. One such issue was the siting of the building expansion over a portion of Industrial Park Drive, a Town-owned road subject to a New Hampshire Department of Transportation curb cut on NH Route 3 (Hooksett Road).

According to Nick Golon, Senior Project Manager for TFMoran, “Such an undertaking took a coordinated site development effort, including formal discontinuance of the road with the Hooksett Board of Selectman – and that was just the tip of the iceberg; the remaining portion of the road had to be redesigned to account for local traffic, and utilities – including water, sewer, gas and electric – and Industrial Park Drive required relocation to accommodate the building expansion. And determination of underlying rights of ownership of land and easements including conveyances of various rights of ownership and passage were also integral to the siting of the building.”

“As stated in Plant Manager Doug Folsom’s opening address at the groundbreaking”, Golon continued, “this was not by any means an easy process, but in the end, the design team imagined something outside the box, and that something provided the best possible product for GE.”

The civil/site design and permitting is now complete and the design package has been turned over to the design-build team of Pure Development, consisting of Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham, Alabama as General Contractor with CSO Architects, who have assembled their team to prepare the building design and oversee construction. The project is expected to be complete in early 2016.

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Robert Duval writes article for New England Real Estate Journal.

The January 23-29, 2015 issue of New England Real Estate Journal features an article written by TFMoran’s President, Robert Duval, PE entitled “Understanding urban runoff issues if you own or develop shopping centers.”

An excerpt from the article:

In the meantime, paying close attention to stormwater issues in new development, monitoring construction stormwater plans closely, and participation in effective voluntary efforts, such as better maintenance programs and partnering with community programs can help improve the health of impaired water bodies over time, perhaps avoiding the need for mandatory retrofit programs, and at the same time, providing a cleaner, more healthful environment for us all.

To read the full article, please click on this link. TFMoran in NEREJ Jan2015